Nitrux 2.9 Released with the Latest Plasma and MauiKit Desktops

Powered by Liquorix kernel 6.3.9, Nitrux 2.9 ships with the most up-to-date Plasma 5.27.6, MauiKit 3.0, and CLI AppImage command-line manager.

Nitrux is a desktop-focused Linux distribution based on the Debian unstable branch, featuring a heavily modified KDE Plasma desktop environment called NX Desktop, the MauiKit application framework, and a unique approach to package management.

Aimed at more advanced Linux users, the just-released Nitrux 2.9 “nu” includes many updated applications and newly added tools. So let’s take a look at the highlights in this release.

What’s New in Nitrux 2.9

Nitrux 2.9 Plasma Desktop
Nitrux 2.9 Plasma Desktop

Liquorix Kernel 6.3.9

Released two months after the previous 2.8.1 release, Nitrux 2.9.0 “nu” is powered by Liquorix kernel 6.3.9, proclaimed itself “the better distro kernel,” which provides up-to-date drivers and hardware compatibility with most modern devices.

It is a custom Linux kernel designed for better performance, responsiveness, and overall system stability for desktop users, bringing an enhanced multimedia and gaming experience.

KDE Plasma 5.27.6

At the same time, Nitrux 2.9 ships with the latest and greatest from the Plasma desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.27.6, accompanied by the KDE Frameworks 5.107.0 and the KDE Gear 23.04.2 software collection maintained by the KDE community.

So, you get some exciting new features and a host of GUI enhancements improving the user experience, giving you more control over your desktop environment.

And while we’re still on the Plasma topic, we won’t fail to mention that this release includes, for the first time Plasma Firewall – an easy-to-use GUI for UFW or Firewalld.

Plasma Firewall - GUI for UFW or Firewalld.
Plasma Firewall – GUI for UFW or Firewalld.

MauiKit 3.0.0

Built on the foundations of Qt Quick Controls and QML, MauiKit is a comprehensive user interface toolkit designed explicitly for convergent interfaces, providing a unified desktop shell with different form factors, from mobile phones and tablets to desktop computers.

Starting with Nitrux 2.7, the distribution is available in two separate releases – one based on Plasma and another on MauiKit. In this regard, fans of the MauiKit interface will be pleased with this release, including the most recent version, MauiKit 3.0.0, released a month ago.

In addition, MauiKit Frameworks was updated to version 3.0.0 and 1.1.0, and the Maui Applications to version 3.0.0, 1.1.0, and 0.5.0.

However, keep in mind that this desktop environment is not for the average Linux user who used to work with familiar GUI tools. Instead, here you are in a completely different ecosystem with its own set of tools.

Zap AppImage Command-Line Manager

As you know, Nitrux has a unique approach to package management. That means you will not find a conventional package manager here. Instead, all the apps you need can be installed as Flatpak packages, AppImages, or inside Distrobox containers.

In this light, Nitrux 2.9 comes preinstalled with Zap – a command-line AppImage package manager for Linux-to simplify users’ lives.

Zap AppImage Package Manager
Zap AppImage Package Manager

It supports desktop integration, delta updates, and your favorite command line syntax. On top of that, users can also use Zap to install AppImages directly from their browser by downloading AppImages supporting the Zap protocol.

Other Nitrux 2.9 Highlights

On the application side, Firefox has been updated to version 114.0.2 and now integrates better with touch inputs on X11 and Wayland. Furthermore, support for the NetworkManager VPN plugin for OpenConnect has also been added.

MESA has been bumped to 23.2, and the AMD open-source driver for Vulkan to version 2023.Q2.3. The widely accepted by the Linux community Flatpak package format received an update to 1.15.4.

The unmaintained Latte Dock has been removed from the distro, and now the NX Desktop defaults to a similar layout but uses Plasma panels instead.

We can’t miss the inclusion of the Zero Install (0Install) feature in Nitrux 2.9. Haven’t you heard of it? It is a decentralized cross-platform software installation system that allows you to run applications without installing them first.

You can refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in Nitrux 2.9. In addition, the distro is available for immediate download, so if you want to try it right now, go to the project’s website and grab your installation ISO image.

Last but not least, be informed that the Nitrux devs recommend performing a fresh installation using the latest available media.

However, if you run previous Nitrux releases, starting with Nitrux 2.9, the devs include the Nitrux Update System Tool or nuts. It is a utility designed to update Nitrux OS and provide a rollback backup option. To know how to use it, please refer to this guide.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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